The Maryland Bowhunting Hall of Fame is proud to present Doug Wigfield as one of its 2010 inductees.
For nearly forty years, Doug has been involved in a career and a treasure trove of organizations, programs and interests always revolving around outdoor education and recreation and community involvement in our great State of Maryland. He has strived to give back to its citizens, especially the youth, 100% of what it has been given to him and then some.
Doug and his first buck
In March of 1974, after graduating from Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Management, Doug kicked off his career by working as a wildlife biologist with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. With ever decreasing DNR budgets Doug’s position was abolished in July after serving for 35 ½ years. He performed various functions over those years with biological highlights including: the restoration of wild turkey on the Eastern Shore, a five year sika deer trapping and tagging study in Dorchester County and employing many marsh management techniques to enhance wildlife habitats on the lower Chesapeake Bay something he wasn’t used to being born and raised in Western Maryland.
Doug's softer side
Besides performing the “normal” duties of a wildlife biologist, the last eight years of Doug’s career were spent conducting educational programs for the Wildlife and Heritage Service; the most notable had to do with archery.
Doug served as the Maryland Coordinator for the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP). This international program is designed to teach target archery, a life skill, to all students in 4th through 12th grades as a unit of the physical education curriculum in Maryland schools. The overall goal of the program was to engage students in an exciting physical program which would improve classroom performance and reduce drop- out rates. The good thing about archery is that it doesn’t discriminate as everyone no matter what size or shape, can participate.
The Maryland Bowhunters Society (MBS) got the ball rolling in Maryland by bringing the National NASP director in to meet and explain the program to selected educators and the MD DNR. Shortly following that meeting the DNR adopted the NASP program and named Wigfield to coordinate the effort. Maryland was the 33rd state to adopt NASP and to this date has trained and certified teachers as Basic Archery Instructors in 14 counties and 46 schools. Along with the job abolishment the DNR dropped the NASP program but Doug and the MBS did not. He continues to certify teachers statewide with schools in Garrett and Dorchester being the most recent counties taking on the program. Doug has also trained and certified NASP archery instructors for the Izaak Walton League, Maryland Bowhunters Society, camps, church groups and other private organizations.
Having certified as a NASP Basic Archery Instructor Trainer and a NAA Level II archery instructor Doug is qualified and conducts archery workshops for the Maryland Becoming an Outdoors Women (BOW) Program, the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Women in the Outdoors Program (WITO) and introduces archery to kids and adults who have never launched an arrow as he ran and continues to teach basic archery at many outdoor events.
Doug with a NASP class
Another program that Doug coordinated while with DNR was the Wildlife Resource section of the Maryland Envirothon. The Envirothon is a competition in which high school teams of five students move beyond the classroom in order to solve real-life environmental problems in a natural setting. The Envirothon is similar to a sporting event, where winning team’s progress through local, state, and, finally, the international competition.
As a member of an Envirothon team, the student is asked to roll up their sleeves and get up close and personal with nature in the following disciplines:
Wildlife - You'll learn first hand from wildlife managers about animal populations and dynamics in Maryland and the importance of preserving wildlife habitat.
Forestry - Maryland foresters will teach you how to identify tree species and determine a tree's height and age. You'll also learn management techniques for healthy and productive forestry resources.
Soils - You'll work alongside soil scientists to learn about profiling and mapping techniques used to determine soil characteristics for farming and developing activities.
Aquatics - You'll explore complex under-water ecosystems with marine and freshwater biologists. You'll also learn how wetlands and buffers contribute to healthy streams.
Current Environmental Issue (aka Current Issue or 5th Topic) - What is a watershed? How can we save farmland from development? What happens when you fill in a wetland? These are some of the environmental issues that students have explored in the past.
Imagine if all hunters had this program growing up?
Other educational programs Wigfield coordinated was: educational displays for the Maryland State Fair and other outdoor shows/events, the Maryland Waterfowl Stamp Design Contest (5th oldest stamp design contest in the U.S.) and the Maryland Black Bear Stamp Design Contest, Wildlife Field Day and Junior Hunter Field Day events for kids and their parents statewide. He also provided written, feature-length technical and educational articles for DNR publications to promote Wildlife & Heritage Service programs and provided a wild turkey restoration/ hunting segment for Maryland Public TV’s Maryland Outdoors Program and National Public Radio (NPR).
In late 2001, he and fellow Marylander Gordon Krause founded the Crowbusters organization. In conjunction with Crowbusters, he owns and operates Crowmart, http://www.crowmart.com, which is an online, retail business that sells specialty crow hunting merchandise to hunters worldwide.
As an authority on sika deer and sika deer hunting, most of us know Doug for the passion he has for this species. He has written numerous articles and delivered many dynamic power point sika deer hunting seminars. For years he has promoted and used vocalizations to call in and harvest sika deer. He continues to promote, market and sell the Sika Seducer Call. Doug recently established Wildlife Advantage, http://www.dougwigfield.com , and has partnered with wildlife artist Wilhelm Goebel in producing and selling the first sika deer print on the market “Closing the Gap – Maryland Sika Deer”. Through Wildlife Advantage Doug markets and offers seminars and workshops on sika deer hunting and wild turkey hunting. He also offers his services as a wildlife habitat consultant. As an outdoor writer he provides hunting and wildlife related articles to regional and national magazines.
Doug's Traditional Sika harvest
Doug with a mess of traditional tackle Ray's and Pheasants
Doug has also appeared on two hunting programs for ESPN’s Under Wild Skies. The first was a sika deer hunting program during Maryland’s first early muzzleloader season and the second was hunting Rio Grande Turkeys in South Texas and Oklahoma.
Wigfield’s affiliations go long and deep. He currently is and/or has been a member of the following organizations:
· National Rifle Association (NRA),
· Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA)
· National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF)
· Maryland Chapter of the NWTF - started this State Chapter in the early 1980s.
· Maryland Bowhunters Society (MBS)
· Traditional Bowhunters of Maryland (TBM)
· Maryland Outdoor Writers Association (MDOWA)
· Pope & Young Club (P&Y) - former official measurer
· Boone & Crockett (B&C) - former official measurer
· Maryland Trophy Deer Contest – official measurer
· Longhunter Society - official measurer
· Maryland Hunter Safety Instructor – inactive (lost my fellow instructor)
· NRA Turkey Hunting Instructor
Doug is an avid sika and whitetail hunter with the bow and handgun as weapons of choice. He says gobbler hunting is the most exciting for him with this spring being #47. He also enjoys crow hunting and fox hunting.
Young turkey hunter Doug
Mature turkey hunting Doug
Now retired from State service but busy with Wildlife Advantage and Crowmart, Doug enjoys the outdoors at his own pace. He lives in Mardela Springs with the love of his life for 38 years, Alice. He has two happily married daughters who have provided him with three grandsons, a granddaughter and one on the way. Sounds to me like an extra large deer blind is in order.
Be a two season hunter
In closing, the Maryland Hall of Fame would to, again, thank Doug Wigfield for a lifetime of achievement and dedication to Maryland’s sportsman and community.